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Why you should talk to your kids on how COVID-19 virus spreads

By Surjit Flora | April 16th 2020

The doctor found that the children's lungs also showed signs of viral pneumonia, but no external symptoms. Some scientists suspect that this is a typical feature of coronavirus infection in children. There is no doubt that children can be symptomatically infected or suffer from a mild illness.

A large number of news reports about the potentially lethal nature of the COVID-19 pandemic are particularly daunting for children who receive the news. So, how can parents help their children cope with fear while maintaining awareness and alertness? Discuss the best way to calmly discuss the virus with your child.

Ask them what they have heard about the virus so far and have a conversation with them. Also, how much they have heard through the news media. Explain the facts to your children and avoid rumors. 

UNICEF, the CDC, WHO, and significant google research have vast resources that can help you answer any questions on COVID 19. Nowadays, children also use mobile phones and have access to information that might not be age-appropriate and could frighten them, so direct them to sources of information that are age-appropriate for them.

Be aware that the constant stream of information on the television may not be age-appropriate for your child, but they may still be absorbing it. Create a reassuring place for children to ask questions about the virus but do not force the conversation if they do not wish to discuss it.

This is going to be a stressful time for families. It is vital to keep a calm tone in the household and when discussing COVID-19 with your children. Most importantly, get the support you need to help avoid taking the stress out on the kids. This is the most critical. Address any mental health problems that you are dealing with during this crisis, such as anxiety/depression/substance abuse. Take a time-out. Stop if you begin to act out of frustration or other emotions physically. Find someone to talk with or watch your kids while you take a breather. Be careful about words you use during outbursts with children as these can have a long-lasting negative impact on their self-esteem. Join an online support group and take breaks from your children (if possible) to take care of yourself - you will need this to avoid the stress of constant parenting.

Parents need to sit with the kids and explain about the virus and give them information to avoid.

Tell kids how the virus spreads

Explain to children that the virus can be spread from tiny droplets in the air and can float around in the air for some time. Also, the virus can be spread by touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth, so it is important to avoid touching these. 

Explain to them that this is why handwashing is so important. Teaching them proper handwashing is very helpful. This includes washing in between fingers, back of the hand, around the thumbs. Wash their hands at least 20 seconds and teach them a fun song that they can sing while washing hands that will last that long, such as their ABC's twice. You can put glitter on your hands and show them what happens if hands are not washed properly. Start a tracking method to count how many times children wash hands and reward them for good behavior.

Explain to them why we see masks on people's faces while walking outside and why we are distancing ourselves from each other. Teach then to stay away from strangers and to avoid crowds. You can use a spray bottle with colored water to show how droplets can travel through the air to help them understand how the virus spreads. Make sure they know that people can carry the virus but not look sick, so it is important to practice social distancing with all people outside of the house, not just people who look sick.

Teach them, cough and sneeze into their elbow instead of their hands.

Probably more accurate to say, 'the virus enters cells by a receptor and makes the cell produce more virus.' This virus goes into the cells completely, after breaking down the cells and regenerating them. The virus spreads very quickly upon the hanging and dropping of any affected person.

Also, tell children that if anyone is hanged or sluggish, stay away from them as much as you can.

Tell them that the virus spreads very quickly and can even spread from asymptomatic people, which is why social distancing is important even with people who don't look sick.

Tips to Teach Kids 

-Keep hand sanitizer in children's pockets, asking them to use them every frequently, but also explain that hand washing is a much better way to remove the virus and to do this frequently. 

- Teach them social distancing methods and to avoid crowds.

- Teach them to avoid touching their face or putting their hands in their nose and mouth and to prevent rubbing their eyes.

-Wash your baby's hands after coughing and sneezing and wipe down toys. Wash soft/plush toys in the laundry.

- If you are sick, please call your physician to discuss how to quarantine at home with children and testing guidelines as these will likely change over the next few weeks to months. Notify your pediatrician if anyone in the house or any contacts are being evaluated for COVID-19.

- always use a napkin paper when blowing your nose and discard the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterward.



Surjit Singh Flora ,veteran journalist and freelance writer, Popular media commentator on current affairs in Brampton Canada.


Covid 19 Time Series


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